Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Going to Take It” is a Classic

As our journey through the cathode encrusted hinterlands of videos past continues, we will now examine a video so shocking, so violent, so blasphemous that it had to be banned…well according to Tipper Gore and the PMRC anyway. What video could it be? Why, none other than Twisted Sister’s 1984 classic “We’re not Going to Take It”!

Dee Snider and the boys of Twisted Sister, already outlandish in appearance, took things one step further when they teamed with director Marty Callner. The video for “We’re Not going to Take It” is, at its core, a live-action Looney Tunes short. Actor Mark Metcalf (Neidermeyer from 1978’s Animal House) plays a domineering father who doesn’t understand his son’s obsession with Twisted Sister, and does not hesitate to express his disdain in a spit punctuated diatribe…which has the adverse effect of turning his son into Dee Snider in a whirling dervish transformation that Linda Carter would be envious of.

For the remainder of the video, the nigh indestructible Metcalf suffers a litany of outrageous violence that puts Wile E. Coyote to shame. And this is precisely the content that caused Tipper to take such offense with the video. The PMRC believed that the video would lead to children going wild and attacking their parents. As a child living through the outcry, I simply couldn’t believe that anyone could take the video seriously. My friends and I all knew the film was supposed to be comedic and over the top in true Twisted Sister fashion and we loved it. We also didn’t want to play a guitar and blast our parents out of a second story window, ‘cuz you know reality and fantasy, two different things.

Anyway, you can check out the video (and the excellent song that accompanies it) right here:

Also a special thanks to our own Sean Hartter for coloring and enhancing the illustration I created to accompany this article!

Stay Spooky!

Daniel XIII

Daniel XIII: equally at home at a seance as he is behind the keyboard. Raised on a steady diet of Son of Satan comics, Kaiju flicks and Count Chocula comes the proprietor of The House of Thirteen Doors. What arcane knowledge lurks behind the preternatural eyes of the Ouija Board Kid?

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9 thoughts on “Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Going to Take It” is a Classic

  1. Bob Gosh says:

    Well if the removal of all things this awesome would result in us being like them… Who would want that. Me? I Wanna Rock!

  2. Besides being an awesome song, I think the pure genius of this video (and song) was that it tapped directly into a kid’s desire to belong to something cool. Who didn’t want to become a member of the S.M.F.’s after seeing this (or at least start drawing the Twisted Sister logo on every available notebook, book cover or denim jacket within a 5 mile radius)?

  3. I took a copy of this cassette to school once to play for my friends. The teacher took one look at the cover, looked at me, and said “I don’t think so.”

  4. I had a similar situation involving the 45 of Van Halen’s “Jump”. One look at that smoking cherub on the album’s cover insured that the class would not be rockin’ that day…

  5. Atari Adventure Square says:

    Truly one of the funnest, head-bangiest, banninate-iest, rockiest video to explode out of 80s TVs.
    Despite fears of child violence (man, the absurd levels of PC-afterthought back then was more of an indication of lack of insight than actual thinking) the one true aspect this vid (and many others) reflected back to viewers was the seemingly overnight transformation of teen rebellion from slightly torn jeans, old shirts and attitude into wild hairy messes, leatherized-wear, finger gloves and (*adult shivers*) make-up!

    Not to mention the many, many studs protruding from the jackets like metal demons had possessed the young ‘uns.

    Yeah, it was a fun time (though oddly generic after a while). Pastels died a quick fashion death and those jeans and shirt people (like myself) almost became preppies by comparison.
    I rocked with the best of them, had my share of leather coats.
    But Dee and the Motley gang took it to Spinal Tap levels and every leather rocker seemed tame (and approachable) by comparison.

    A great vid truly worthy of your fine retrospective posts, Daniel.
    And those great visuals by you and Sean make the experience of catching these articles unique, fun and rock-out great!

    Oh, and I gotta quickly add an undescribably wicked appreciation of Weird Paul’s VHS gem of-an-homage/spoof.
    Words…words fail…hero, the guy’s my hero…
    That baby ain’t havin’ none of this crap. But everybody is having so much fun.
    Coolest dad ever.
    And Weird Paul manages to top the original video’s ending.
    Martin Scorcese would’ve been proud.

    gah…
    Weird Paul!
    Man-hug!
    Man-hug to you and yours!

  6. Ahhh, Atari Adventure Square, I love reading your comments! They always offer a great insight and perspective into the subject!!

    On another note, Dee Snider himself has retweeted this article!

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